The character of Jack Ryan has been popular on the big screen since 1990 when the movie industry first developed the Tom Clancy series of novels with The Hunt for Red October. Over three decades, the character has been played by such A-listers as Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine. Now the series is moving to the small screen, with Amazon Studios developing a prequel to all his adventures, starring the rather unlikely John Krasinski, best known for his role as Jim in the American remake of The Office. The new Jack Ryan trailer suggests that this was a savvy casting move by both Krasinski and Amazon.
This new series, which is properly titled Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan is one of Amazon's bigger acquisitions this decade. The series, which is from the Lost duo of co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland, drew huge interest when it was first announced in the fall of 2015, with multiple outlets looking to grab the rights to air the project.
In the end, the series, which is produced by Paramount TV, went to Amazon. At the time it was noted by Deadline one of the reasons Paramount was happy with the choice was due to the synergy Amazon brings, as it also sells the Clancy books as well as the older Jack Ryan movies, giving the platform a multifaceted way of promoting the new show.
Did they choose correctly? Check out the trailer.
Here's the series' synopsis:
As up-and-coming CIA analyst Ryan is thrust into a dangerous field assignment for the first time, he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale. Wendell Pierce and Abbie Cornish also star in the series directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game).
For those who are fans of the Clancy books, this is obviously not a story pulled from any of his published works. Instead, it is "a new contemporary take on the character in his prime as a CIA analyst/operative using the novels as source material."
When the announcement came in early 2016 that John Krasinski would be headlining the series, it seemed a bit of an odd pairing. The actor was mostly known for comedy, even though he was part of Manchester By The Sea, which Amazon had just picked up the rights for at the time. It seemed likely Krasinski was working to shake off being typecast as a Jim for the rest of his career and was ready to take risks at a different sort of office altogether.
Since then Krasinski has blown up, with this year's horror film A Quiet Place getting rave reviews, a movie he directed, co-wrote, and starred in. But Jack Ryan still definitely seems to be leaning into his comedy background. For instance, the trailer opens with a seasoned operative looking doubtfully at the newest version of Jack Ryan eating his lunch and asking doubtfully "Do you do this often?"
Krasinski himself seems to also take a funny deadpan approach to his character. How in heaven's name does someone who clearly was hired to fly a desk wind up in the middle of a war zone? “I was just following the money, sir.”
The Amazon series was originally ordered for 10 episodes, but that has since dropped down to eight. It has also already been green lit for a second season despite not arriving for at least another three months. Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan will premiere on Prime Video this summer, on Aug. 31, 2018.